4 types of data that need to flow in a process to make it robust and future proof
Prospecting to acquire new customer or to define new value prop isn't easy. But the right mix of process, technology and psychology actually helps.
How to avoid the generic "follow-up" email and ensure a pain based chase with prospects
I call these posts “weekly round up” though, looking at when I posted a similar one previously, I should call it “yearly round up”. But anyway, I did come across two very interesting articles and one worth mentioning. One about pricing, one about budget and a last one doing some semantic analysis on sales calls.
The article about pricing presents the perspective of a pricing expert, Madhavan Ramanujam. Its core thesis is that companies should build product around a price, not around features. Whilst the article might be more applicable to companies building large scale consumer products (eg: cars) rather than, say, software companie, I have found it quite interesting. It is indeed possible to lead a sales engagement from a price point of view and then build around the offering that suits the price (something more suited for a service offering rather than a product offering admittedly). An interesting article with real world example worth reading.
Photo credit: Steve Rhodes
“But Michael, you are using a competitor product. And they are a good company. So, whilst it is great you would want to do a POC with us, I am not clear on what specific issues you want to address and, assuming we can address them, what would happen afterwards. Could you help me with this?”
Michael could not help me with this. Michael was a partner for one of the major consulting firm in the world and was keen to do a POC to test the product of my start-up. Amongst other things, this would have meant to divert some of my technical resources to support said POC. So, whilst starting a process with a major brand was attractive for an early stage start-up I thought it was better not to pursue and decided to close the process here.
“You can find my CV attached for your consideration.”
I had just introduced a friend of mine to a recruiter as I thought the opportunity this recruiter sent me might of interest to him. Following the email intro, my friend responded and, right away, sent his CV through. I was taken aback. Why did he not ask questions before sending his CV?
I might be obsessed with asking as many questions as possible when interacting with people in a business context. But, seeing my friend sending his CV right after the introduction, I could not help to see the parallel between a recruitment process and a sales process, at least from a candidate point of view.
Photo credit: nicoleneu1
Here are three posts I came across recently and found interesting and worth sharing. Strangely, two of these posts have a theme, a word that all sales people and business owners do not like: the dreaded word “No”…
1- “The answer to this question will make your sales skyrocket”. This is a very interesting article about a very simple question that can be asked to improve a sales process. You can find all details here but, in short, the question is: “What made you nearly say: No”. This question asked to actual customers is powerful in helping to understand what they went through during the process, what made them nearly walk away and, consequently, find what need to improve to avoid it. You could even think of it as a sort of NPS, Net Promoter Score or an NBS, Nearly-not Buyer Survey
Photo credit: Phil
Greeks invented the democracy. And they had an interesting way of voting. They used beans. A white bean was a vote in favour of a motion, a black bean was a vote against. The vote had to be unanimous for the motion to go through. So should the jar with the bean topples and the beans fall down, revealing a black bean, it meant something had been revealed too early and the vote had to restart. Hence the expression spilling the beans…
This expression might not be entirely due to the Greek way of voting (it isn’t). But spilling the beans certainly applies to how we sale. And how we, sales people, love to share product knowledge when we should hold back.
How to score leads and understand the prospect that are really worth investing time into and those that aren't.
Photo credit: nicoleneu1
Here is a brief round of interesting posts I have read, found particularly good and thought they were worth sharing.
First of all, a post from David Brock about the companies that believe they have a sales process but, actually, simply don’t. What I like beyond David rather dry sense of humour (notably on things like “gurus” in Linkedin), is the probing of companies that believe they have a process when, actually, it is not being followed or need some updating. The post is here.